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SOMATOFORM SYMPTOM AND FACTITIOUS DISORDERS

Daniel Zhafal, Daniela Angelova, Nikola Garipov, Teodora Stoyanova, Diana Petkova

Abstract

Introduction: Somatoform symptom disorders (SSD) and factitious disorders are part of a new category of psychiatric disorders, which can lead to unsuccessful medical treatment of patients. These disorders are cases where a person will be reporting symptoms that are not actually caused by pathological changes and might mislead the physician. Factitious disorders on one hand, are cases where a patient simulates physical signs that he is aware are fake. On the other hand, SSD is when the patient actually believes that he is experiencing said symptoms, although there is no somatic reason or evidence for them.

Materials and Methods: The information presented is а result of gathering and analyzing information from various sources including researches and statistical analysis from the websites Physio-pedia and Health Research Funding (2015), as well as from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5 (2013).

Results: Both groups of disorders are diagnosed based primarily on negative criteria and are often misdiagnosed. Yearly, these disorders cost the health care system a great deal of tests and procedures. There are some specific behavioral patterns that can alarm a physician into suspecting the patient suffers from one of these disorders. Studies show a greater frequency of SSDs in women. People with lower education are more likely to suffer from SSD as well, and those with a lower economic status also.

Conclusion: A physician can face great difficulties diagnosing these conditions. Moreover, being so rare, a physician should never show doubt in the patient’s complains, and should take them seriously yet with caution. Finally, although these patients are complaining about false symptoms, they are indeed sick and need to be treated.


Keywords

factitious, somatoform, disorders, mental, psychiatry, symptoms


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